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Us 19, Syria 14, Boston 10, America 10, Dempsey 8, Devin 7, Iraq 7, United States 6, Assad 6, Washington 6, Kentucky 6, U.s. 6, Mccain 5, Iran 5, Dr. Clark 4, Lebanon 3, Turkey 3, Obama 3, Jordan 3, Kurt Schmoke 3,
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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    April 18, 2013
    6:00 - 9:00am EDT  

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>> you have others who have self-interest in this, whether it's sectarian or tribal or national. and then you try to assess all of this with what general dempsey was talking about, what then is our objective? how much risk are you willing to bear? how much cost are you willing to bear? because there is a cost. there will always be a cost and in general dempsey's opening comments he talked about you get involved however way it is in a military intervention, there will be cost to the. it could be pretty deep cost,
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high cost. i've always taken the approach in my own sense of these things is you better always ask the in game questions. where's this going? where is it likely to end? and how isn't likely to end wax when you look at iraq and afghanistan, i was in the united states said at the time both those wars begin as the two distinguished colleagues of yours sitting in front of me were, and i don't recall a time when anyone came and testified before the united states congress that this is going to be an enduring effort and occupation -- >> as a matter of fact, as i recall someone in the administration was fired for saying it would cost 200 billion in iraq, and it ended up costing well over a trillion. >> that's right. and 12 years later we're still in afghanistan with higher numbers than anyone would've predicted. eight years in iraq. now, whether that was the right thing or the wrong thing is a
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different issue. but the point is were i start to answer your question, you've got to play this thing out a little bit in your own mind. it is important and imprecise. but what chairman dempsey said come at its is responsibly, it's my responsibility, if the president asks for a recommendation on any of this, yes, we will be prepared, but we also have to factor into that at what cost is this going to be for the men and women have to fight that war, some will die in that war no matter what, it's always easy to talk policy, it may be worth it, it may be the smart thing to do but you better be damn sure, sure you can be before you get into something. because once you're into it, there isn't any backing out whether it's a no-fly zone, safe zone, protected these, whatever it is. once you're in you can't unwind it. you can't just say it's not going as well as i thought it would go so we're going to get out. senator mccain's point about
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one of my comments in my statement about making it worse for humanitarian, i think we could if we're not careful if we didn't get into this the right way, if we get into it. there could be more bloodshed. more humanitarian disaster. maybe not, but -- >> the other folks are funny the other side, russia or iran decide okay, they are in, we will get in anymore major way. you've got a significant conflict. >> that's another element. and i would end this way, there is no consensus. libya, some of these other countries, there was a consensus. we have some kind of consensus where there was a u.n. resolution or something. but we don't have a consensus here on this issue. makes even more complicated which gets us into legal issues and so on. but just a consensus of what we should do, what america's role should be, there is no consensus. >> thank you, mr. secretary,. >> thank you.
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>> thank you, senator king. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you children. general dempsey, a year ago there was a discussion about the introduction of arms and i again, you are much more i can into the specifics. my impression was essentially small arms, assault weapons, individual weapons, is that there? >> yes, senator spent in the subsequent year have the sunni opposition principally sunni opposition received a significant number of small arms from sources other than the united states? >> it has. that's reported in open source but it has. >> so the lack of arms has not been the decisive issue in terms of the conflict on ground in serious? >> not in my military judgment. there's no shortage of arms in
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syria. >> what is the problem? and perhaps is not as evident a year ago is, and i must say the surprising durability of assad, but also the continued incoherence of the opposition. is that a fair statement the? >> yes your. >> and our policy priority has been i think even back then and going forward for this year and going, continuing forward, is to try to build a coherent, inclusive opposition as the key strategic element in resolving this situation. is that a fair judgment? >> it is there, and it is even more important now with the coalescing of these extremist groups. so now you have got the moderate opposition becomes more important. >> and there's another aspect of this issue just at the level of conflict. that is, it's not simply
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supplying the opposition. it somehow interdicting support for the assad regime. the chairman mentioned the over flights from iraq, but that support is coming from most notably iran. so that coming in, positing even an increase may be in the bombs we provide, the assumption would be that that would be matched unless we took proactive steps, or someone took proactive steps by further escalation to support assad? >> i'm not sure i understood the connection. >> the connection is this, that we already, it's already public reported that the iranians and others have a vested interest in the success of the regime. they're providing support, et cetera. again, if you're looking at both sides of the conflict, supplying one side while the other side continues to draw resources, may
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have no effect. so part of the calculation has to be, and it goes to the diplomatically to our relationship with iraq, somehow suppressing the supply of support, both money, arms, political support for the assad regime. is that a fair point? >> it is. >> it strikes me, too, talking about a safe area, that somebody, probably not us, has to be able at least to -- control the ground, is that a fair judgment? >> it is. i should mention the two countries within in touch with, jordan and turkey, are more interested in having a safe area outside their borders so that they don't have this influx inside. >> but that effectively means even if they don't take actions immediately, when they declare the safe area, simply to stop
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mechanized vehicles moving in as they do, they would physically have to control the ground either through airstrikes or artillery strikes or through introducing force on the ground? >> that's correct. the safe zone is only safe if you ensure its safety. you have to control the terrain and some distance beyond it in order to do that. >> and that would require given the predisposition of the turks and the jordanians basically declaring some part of the territory to be controlled by another country? >> i think that's right. >> and again, you know, we try to search for analogies. and many have been offered. we did, in fact, provide, you are much more knowledgeable than i, and secretary hagel also, we did provide sort of an arrangement with the kurds in iraq after 91. what strikes me that there we had defeated the government.
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we had impose conditions on them, coalition of forces. we also had, there was no need to provide kind of that control of the ground because it was pretty good, that we had a simple tactical operation just to ensure what the iraqis already agreed to. they would not fly. but that would result of a dimension by the next is, not by unilateral declaration by the u.s. or anyone else. is that a fair recollection of? >> yes, sir. it is. >> i think you have to continue to plan for every contingency, and the secretary has made that point. but the planning has to be i think comprehensive and very thorough, the resources have to be considered. and also i think what we've learned to our chagrin is that you have to hope for the best but plan for the worst. and the worst could involve a serious engagement of u.s.
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forces which is hard as the secretary said to reverse. and second, extraordinary sense of the. have you put any numbers to a situation in which we were asked for sort of a modest troop level to support our allies or air operations over several months? >> dollar figure, not in dollar figure but we've got in each of these options that we been developing we understand the resources required, aircraft, manpower. if i could add, we have said, both secretary and i come if we are asked to do something in syria it will require supplemental, no question. >> mr. secretary, any comments that you might have on this line. >> no. senator, i think your dialogue with the chairman starts to really get to some of the dynamics here that have to be thought through, and we are as
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the chairman said, we look at these plans every day, the joint planning staff, our commanders, and what are constantly refining that based on the reality, some of those issues have been brought up today, the different issues. but the point here i think that you started with is really a key component of all this. coherent opposition. that is a very difficult base to start from. when the intent is try to help in some way, provide arms to someone. i mean, it's easy to say, well, the anti-assad forces. well, the anti-assad forces is al qaeda, you go right through it. so who exactly are we talking about? who leads the? i knew every military coalition group and so one year at least
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in my opinion as secretary of defense it's not clear enough to make any conclusions, inclusive adjustments to a policy recommendation on this is, mr. president, this is exactly what we should do. >> i had used two terms as i think are important, coherent and inclusive, because as i think as general dempsey suggested, should there be an immediate collapse of the assad government, there is the potential for civil strife unless the opposition is not only coherent but it embraces the three major traditions in the country, shia, sunni, four, christian and critic another context, we didn't have, and libya and again i will stand to be corrected, there was tribal rivalry but there wasn't quite such a traditional distinction of cleavage, sectarian cleavage
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in other areas also. and that is a very elusive objective. i thank you very much. >> if i could just add, do you mind? it's important to mention i think, you will hear some folks say we have to act now or we risk this become a sectarian conflict. i just want you to give my view of this. it is a sectarian conflict, and the question now is how to regional partners resolve that so that when it collapses, it doesn't turn into a lebanon like experience, which as you know was 15 years and hundred thousand. that the country of 4 million, syria is 4 million spent if we had to withdraw them under very dire circumstances, thank you. >> thank you. let's have a second round, maybe five minutes. i think a i don't think anyone would disagree with either of you about the need to have the
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endgame idea, what are the effects of our actions, if we act more forcefully, if we use additional military pressure, contribute to it because it wouldn't be us acting come it would only be in my judgment if turkey decides to act along that border that you would be supportive of turkey. that's for me having very important allies in the region. i think we also, is it fair to say, not only have to figure out the consequences of any actions but we all slept figure consequences of not acting? >> i agree with the senator. and what we've been doing with the israelis, with the turks and with the jordanians is, trying to help them lower the risk of spillover effects, that's kind in the category of in action, if you will. >> how many refugees are there
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now? >> the numbers are a bit allusive. it could be as many as a million. some of them move into camps, others move into homes. so the icrc tends to lose track of them. it could be a million. >> is there a destabilizing impact of refugees coming into jordan, for instance? >> there very well could be. their jordanians are concerned of that having is change the demographic. so they are especially concerned about it. >> is that the cubs was of not acting perhaps? >> unicom is a consequence -- >> it away from it could be a consequence either way. could that be a consequence of not acting, if the refugees low continued into jordan and they become more destabilized? >> sure. as i said, you can argue both sides of almost any of these issues. >> i think it's important both sides be argued. i happen to agree with that but not just the only thing so far that i think you've argued today
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is that went to look for the consequences of actions, and i think we all agree with that. but we haven't heard from you or come and i don't know that it is your job, frankly, to look at the consequences of not acting but it is surely our job to look at consequences on both sides. would you agree? >> i do, but i would say i don't think we're guilty of not acting. i think, i'm here today just as i am talking about military power. the other instance of national power are being applied. we can judge how well or not well but they are being applied. >> has it achieved its policy goals yet? i think he is not achieved our policy goals as he stated. we haven't achieved and yet there i think you would agree, would you not? >> it's never been our goal to see a full on conflict so on that basis i would agree. >> also in terms of, it's
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interesting, you said if the president asks for a recommendation. does that mean there's been no recommendations from either of you to the president on this question yet? >> on military power? >> on any additional military pressure. >> we have had national security staff meetings at which we have been asked to brief the options, but we have been asked for a recommendation. >> we have not been asked. as i said i've not been asked by the president. i want to go back if i could, thank you to the point you made which i noted in my testimony opening statement for very specific reason. not the we don't have broader responsibilities, but my main responsibility is as secretary of defense as you know and you mentioned is the security of this country.
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and my focus is always on that first. that has to fold into our national broader national security objectives as i said in my statement, is to support that policy. but i just want to get back to that because i think your comment and observation, at least from my perspective, was an important one. >> you talk about the lack of consensus, and that's true. i don't know that there was a consensus in bosnia. i'm trying to remember if there was a consensus in bosnia. >> it might be useful for us to lay out the differences, and the similarities, but i will say don't forget that there was a native consensus. >> that is correct. and that's why there's not a native consensus on syria, i know that. however, apparently there is among the gulf cooperation council, i believe that they have together decided to remove
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aside from his seat, and given it to the opposition. is that accurate? >> they are funding some of those countries as you know, some of the opposition forces. i don't know if there's a formal gcc position. >> in terms of who represents syria at the gulf cooperation council, i read that there is such a decision has been made, and if there is that would be some evidence of a regional consensus, would it not? i'm not saying it's compelling, overwhelming. >> i'm not sure its regional. i think it's more within the opposition, in city. it is syrian opposition, the soc coalition. and i'm not sure they represent any countries there or any governments in that soc that
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represented, that's taken a place at the syrian spot there at the arab league. >> we will doublecheck that. that was my understanding. then i will call on senator king in just one moment. there's been a report that the british, perhaps the french are considering additional support to the opposition, military, or lethal weapons. is that accurate, do you know? >> i'm not aware that, although we have been conducting integrated planning with them as our close nato allies. but i haven't heard that they have taken a decision to arm anyone. >> they are not more forward leaning as far as you know? >> they share our concerns with having the outcome be established before the action.
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>> i know that senator mccain is on his way out of to have some additional questions. can you tell us what your understanding is as to whether or not city has actually used chemical weapons -- syria has actually used chemical weapons speak with our intelligence agencies are going into more detail on what we know and what we've don't know. again, when general clapper is before you tomorrow, i'm sure he will get into that. i suspect though that some of us will have to be done in closed session. >> secretary kerry has said given the current conditions on the ground in syria that president assad is unlikely to leave voluntarily. do you agree with that assessment, secretary? >> i do. >> that it's only additional pressure on him, physical
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pressure that will drive them out? >> i suspect that that is the pressure that does it. >> you talked, i think a general, it was you that talked about the opposition having arms and that there's been a flow of arms to the opposition. and i think your answer was, maybe not exactly, there's no shortage of arms in syria. but the arms of the opposition has are not of comparable effectiveness, are they, to what assad has? >> not at the top end. obviously, the opposition doesn't have aircraft, although they have actually captured some, and doesn't have missiles and rockets, but their small arms are comparable. >> would you say this is at the
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moment and even fight militarily? >> i would say that there is a risk that this conflict has become stalemated. >> but would you say that the military capability that the arms that the opposition has are equally to what a saga brings to bear, at the top end is fine with me? >> not at the top and. >> so that he has come he is greater capability in terms of artillery and other aircraft? >> yes. >> and so forth that does the opposition. >> i just want to go back to that resupply flights that are going to syria over iraqi airspace. it really troubles me a great deal. in your opening statement, again secretary hagel, when you made reference to the fact that we are working with iraq in terms of their concern about chemical
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weapons inside of syria. i don't know how that jibes with their unwillingness to stop those flights. i had the iraqi ambassador in my office a week ago, told me that they don't approve of those flights, that those flights are not happening. can we believe that? >> well, we know that flights are getting into syria. >> over iraqi airspace? coming from iran's? >> yes, coming from iran. >> over iraqi airspace? >> i suspect that's right. as i said when i made my statement, we were talking to the iraqis about this. >> senator mccain. >> i would point out, secretary, we've been talking to iraqis about this for about two years,
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and it's well known that the iranians are overflying iraq with weapons. and honestly, why you just don't say we know that because it's in the public domain, i don't quite understand. kind of ask general dempsey, -- could i ask general dempsey, did leave lebanon and jordan are less stable than they were a couple years ago because of this strains on their country? in fact there are some who voiced concerns for a variety of reasons about the stability, particularly in jordan? >> yes, they are both, their stability are both affected by the conflict in syria. >> and the destabilization, obviously, is of great concern to israel. >> it is. and in particular the chemical weapons and high and air defense
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weapons. >> if we were to reposition the patriot missile batteries on the turkish side of the turkey syria border north of, with those systems have the capability to take out scud missiles? >> they would. we have the geometry. as you know, patriot is like an umbrella. at a point to defense system but you can't have it forward. wouldn't probably reach all the way but it would help. >> give any evidence or is not clear or is it, where are we in this scenario as to whether assad is actually used chemical weapons or not? >> just before you came in, the question came up and i think you have a direct or clapper and he may have to take you to a closed session to answer that question. we have seen open-source reporting. we are eager for the u.n. to get in there and do the analysis, but i can't say more than that in this session.
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>> and it seems to me that since the president of the united states has made clear this is a red line, but that would be just about the last act that he might perform in order to avert his overthrow. and by the way, i know you're concerned, general, about the withdrawal of bashar al-assad to area along the coast, largely alawite connected hezbollah. that's one of the scenarios as this drags out that really seems to me significant concern. are you worried about that scenario as well? >> i actually consider that the most likely scenario. >> and the conflict than drags on for quite a period of time? >> i want to apologize to the witnesses for my emotion about this issue.
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accept that what's going on is really, really horrific, and i worry about not only what happens now but what happens in the future in a country that is clearly becoming more and more divided, more and more of casualties, more and more destabilization of the neighboring nations. so i hope that you will not only look at from the humanitarian side which a lot of us are deeply emotional about. i mean, i'm sure you are, too, but also from the aspect of national security. if the scenario and i just talked about transpires, if for some reason that the extremists, but sure assad decides to use those chemical weapons, if the jihadists gain the ascendancy in
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syria, then obviously they would want to destabilize both lebanon and jordan. so i hope, and general mattis testimony, that if assad false commit would be the greatest blow to the iranians in 25 years. the centrifuges are spending. so there's a great deal at stake here, and i have the belief that the american people would not tolerate, nor would any of us, boots on the ground. there's a number of ways we could be of assistance working with countries that are already doing, providing a lot of assistance in the region as you know, and try to bring this tragic episode to an end as quickly as possible. and mr. secretary, i hope that you will give it very higher -- very high priorities, your
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deliberations and conclusions about the situation given the human toll that is being an active every day that this goes on, and a very album -- would you like to say anything in response to? >> no, sir. just do we enforce but i assure you that i consider and understand the human suffering and tragedy that is syria, spent a good deal of my adult life trying to figure out committees. this is the toughest one of all, but we are putting our shoulder to it in terms of planning, and we will be prepared if asked for options. >> thank you, mr. secretary,. >> senator mccain, thank you. i would echo what the chairman said that in addition i would just tell you, this committee, that i am committed to working with you to try to find some way we can do more, responsibly, that is effective. i can also tell you that
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yesterday chairman dempsey and i met with the president. we took a large part of the meeting about this issue, not about this hearing. he sends his greetings of course but i know you have seen him recently, but about the issue. .. >> clarify one point and then also summarize a bit. you made reference in terms of
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the anti-assad forces to corral al-qaeda. at the moment, at least, they are in the distinct minority, is that not true, in terms of the anti-assad forces numerically? is that accurate? >> well, i would think it is. my reference there was to just, once again, emphasize, reemphasize what the chairman was saying about the different forces afoot. i think as you recall, chairman noted this, there are a lot of good people, free syrians who want a future for their country. and that's not to be underplayed, nor understated or underappreciated. but my reference was, chairman, to all the different groups that are in this opposition crowd. >> we sure don't want them to grow any further. >> no, we don't. >> the al-qaedas, extremists, the el us in rah folks.
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the other thing is of all of the factors that have been mentioned, and the last one was humanitarian, but you've mentioned the impact on our allies including jordan, israel and turkey, but the effect on iran as to whether or not their support for syria can succeed is, perhaps, as critical an issue as anything. i don't think we ever really fully understood what would happen if iraq took the course that it took if terms of iran being -- in terms of iran being strengthened. so we see in a number of areas iran getting stronger, particularly in terms of their missile and nuclear systems.
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and i think if they succeed here in blocking a removal of assad, that that is just another strengthening element in terms of iran which is to be avoided as much as any of these negative factors. i want to again -- do you have any questions? thank you. i want to thank again senator mccain for his determination on this. i have joined with him in pressing for additional, to look for additional ways to put military pressure on assad, sending a message of inevitability, a message of determination, and i think for many, many reasons, the sooner the better. but, again, you've had a long day. we really are grateful for you allowing scheduling the way it's been done. >> thank you. >> we'll stand adjourned.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> this morning on c-span2, the
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director of the white house national drug control policy speaks at the national press club. that's followed by senator rand paul of kentucky talking about senate legislation and his political priorities. then live at 9 a.m. eastern, the u.s. senate returns for work on firearms legislation. >> president obama and the first lady will be in boston today to honor the victims of the boston marathon bombing. the first couple will attend the interfaith service at the cathedral of the holy cross. see it live starting at 11 a.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span3. attorney general eric holder is on capitol hill today for a hearing on the 2014 justice department budget request. he's also expected to speak about the bombing at the boston marathon. see this hearing live starting at 2 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> when the war began, the
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congress came into session in july, and it issued a statement ever since known as the createn done resolution that articulated the consensus war goals of the united states. and it was very simple, very clear. the purpose of this war is to restore the union. and it is not, and it is not to disrupt the social institutions of the south. and everybody knew what that meant. it meant not to disrupt slavery. >> the evolution of president lincoln's views on slavery. university of texas at austin professor george forgie on the political and legal factors of emancipation on lectures in history saturday night at 8 eastern on c-span3's american history tv. >> the white house director of national drug control policy
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spoke about the issue of legalization and the obama administration's response to substance abuse. gil kerlikowske was the featured speaker at the national press club. this is 50 minutes. >> well, good afternoon, everybody. it's a great pleasure and honor to be with all of you. first, let me thank so many people for being here today. and thank you for that wonderful introduction and the information, and i'm so glad you had a chance to spend some time with general dean who's somebody i'm going to talk about a lot in a few minutes along with a couple other people up here, also, that i've been so impressed with. the drug policy issue, the drug policy problems are really complex, and they're really difficult, and that's why i'm so appreciative of this forum to be able to talk a little bit more at length about it and then, certainly, to answer the
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questions. let me also mention the fact that donna ledger from the "usa today" is a person that has written extensively, also, about the drug problems in this country. and i know, as was mentioned in the introduction earlier, she is in boston right now with so many other journalists covering, covering that real tragedy in that, and i as my wife and i have sent our thoughts and prayers to those people, i know you very much feel the same way. let me recognize several other people that are here, and i'd love to recognize -- i'd spend the entire hour, and then i wouldn't have to answer a single question -- [laughter] by recognizing everybody in the audience. but bob wiener was sitting to my right. he was a chief spokesperson at ondcp during the clinton administration. and bob not only helped with others to certainly organize this, but his continued energy
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and commitment to the drug issue over the years has really made this possible, and i appreciate everything he's done. [applause] well, i know, i think it's probably most appropriate that i start off with what's probably consumed the media quite a bit over the last several years. let me talk about marijuana. i know that was something that i make it a -- i may get a question about later on, i'm just supposing. as you know, possession of small amounts of marijuana by an adult became legal in two states, colorado and washington. those are both proposition or initiative states, and it was on their ballot. and those initiatives -- and there are differences, by the way, between the two states and what they passed. they really present all of us, health care professionals, school administrators, so many others, elected official, law enforcement, they really present us with a set of complex questions.
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and above all, though, i have to repeat that the justice department, our federal united states department of justice, has the responsibility to enforce the controlled substances act. and that remains unchanged. to -- no state, no executive can nullify a statute that's been passed by congress. as the department of justice has noted, though, federal drug enforcement resources -- just like i did as a police chief -- we prioritize and target the serious crimes. serious crimes of drug dealing, violent crime and trafficking. and let's be clear that law enforcement officials take an oath of office to uphold federal law, and they're going to continue to pursue drug traffickers and drug dealers and transnational criminal organizations, all of which weaken our communities, and they pose very serious threats to our nation. and too often discussions about marijuana, though, dwell on this issue of legalization and whether making the drug more
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widely and easily available -- which it would be when it becomes legal in those areas as it is now -- would make the problem go away with it was all legal. including enforcement of existing laws is a matter for the department of justice. the department of justice enforcement of the controlled substances act, the federal law remained up changed. we shouldn't lose site of the -- lose sight of the fundamental fact though. the most responsible public policy is one that restricts its availability and discourages its use. and i recognize that the marriage debate has taken up quite a bit of media space, but i want to turn to something that affects most americans, and the subject that the obama administration has really been focused on for these past four years. and we're going to remain focused in this area for the next four years. and that's achieving real,
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evidence-based drug policy reform to both reduce drug use but also the consequences. and more and more the debate about drug policy in america has become extremely polarized. one side advocates in believing that legalization is the only path to drug policy reform. legalization is described as solving mexico's organized crime and violence problems, as creating a windfall for state and local coffers here in the united states, and along with many other benefits that are all talked about around legalization. then you have the other hand. now, on the other hand, we have the tough on crime, the enforcement-centric war on drugs that was mentioned in my introduction and that approach. and that's one that treats addiction primarily as a criminal justice problem despite this ever-growing body of scientific knowledge and evidence that this approach is
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counterproductive, and it's not effective. but slogans and sound bites don't really make responsible public policy, and neither of these extreme positions presents a 21st century approach to this complicated, very complicated drug policy issue. in fact, if you can fit an answer to our drug problems in this country on a bumper sticker, i think you can be assured of one thing, and that answer is that it's wrong. so if we oppose both drug legalization and we oppose a war on drugs, well, what shape should drug policy reform take us? well, i think the answer, actually, is right here in this room. it's here at the dais, but it's also, certainly, in the audience. you know, i've invited several pioneers. i guess i could say that, general dean, you're a pioneer. devin may be a little young yet, but he's on his way. [laughter] but i've invited these pioneers who have dedicated their lives
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to mitigating the arm that substance abuse does to -- the harm that substance abuse does to our nation. these people stand in the vanguard of what with truly is drug policy reform. what they're doing doesn't look much like a war or legalization, and tear work often goes -- and their work often goes unrecognized. that's why it's so important at this forum to be able to bring a voice and information about what they do. pause it often -- because it often doesn't make the headlines. and giving them a voice in this national debate, i think, is extremely important. well, a key aspect of drug policy reform involves the health care profession. nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, these professionals work to safeguard and improve our health in so many areas, and it makes sense they should play a role in preventing a chronic disease that has touched almost every american many some way. and, of course, that disease is
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the disease of addiction. in reality, we can't arrest or incarcerate our way out of this drug problem. well, the average individual actually meets with a health care professioningal about once a year -- professional about once a year, and we know that addictive disorders are progressive diseases. doesn't it make sense then to bring this intervention into the primary care focus? an opportunity to talk about substance use at the time that that person is meeting with and talking to a health care professional. that annual meeting can be a key intervention point for stopping substance use disorder from progressing. but for that to happen, health care professionals have to have the tools to intervene early, and they have to refer an individual to treatment if necessary. and they have to help that individual in the process of recovery and sustaining their recovery. and for this per peck i have -- perspective, the american society of addiction medicine is a key partner in our efforts to reform drug policy.
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that's why i've asked dr. kelly clark who's here who sits on the american society of addiction medicine's board of directors. that's why she's here today. dr. clark has devoted her career to public health. she's now helping steer that organization that pioneers the study of addiction. the science of understanding addictive disorders, the most effective methods of preventing and treating substance abuse disorders. the core purpose is to improve care and the treatment of people with the disease of addiction and advance the practice of addiction medicine. and the group recently developed a course to train physicians in proper oboe prescribing through the food and drug administration's what's called risk evaluation mitigation strategies. i'm going to talk a little bit more about the prescription drug issue and give you a little more context around it, but i think it also emphasizes how all of us working together -- federal government, local and state
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government, but also the professional treatment providers and those with real expertise like dr. clark -- can make a difference. that program, it's called rim, will make sure subscribers understand prescribing practices, pain management. physicians play an important role in these efforts we have taken to reform drug policy. and by first and foremost making sure that society recognizes drug abuse as the public health issue it is. and ideally, we would like every prescriber to take this course. we're not there yet, but asam is taking an important first step, and i think we're somewhere around, over 30,000 prescribers that have actually taken this online course. and as a result of the work by dr. clark's team and many others, the administration has taken unprecedented actions to treat substance use disorders as
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public health issue, not just a criminal justice one. already we spend more on drug prevention and treatment than we do on u.s. domestic law enforcement and incarceration. just last week the president's budget contained a request for congress to increase funding for treatment by $1.4 billion over fiscal year 2012. this is the largest such request for an increase in treatment in two decades. we're also expanding -- [applause] we're also expanding underrecognized programs such as screening, brief intervention referral to treatment. we have acronyms, by the way, in the federal government for all of these. [laughter] but it trains doctors and other health care professionals to identify the signs of problematic substance use early and before it becomes a chronic disorder or a criminal justice problem. and when a person gets that
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early intervention, it's often, one, more effective and, two, less costly to the taxpayer. well, our country is dealing with what the centers for disease control and prevention have called an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. and dr. frieden, the head of the cdc, does not take that word lightly at all. it's hard to believe, but more people die in this country from prescription drug overdoses than from both cocaine and heroin overdoses combined. well, in 2010 there were 40,000 drug-induced deaths in america, and more than 22,000 of those involved prescription drugs. and about 16,000 involve those opioid prescription painkillers that i mentioned earlier. but we're really making some headway on this epidemic. we have taken in this on over these last four years and, actually, thanks to a lot of the work of journalists who have really put it on the front pages, we are making some progress. and thanks to a lot of other
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hard work by lots of other people. young adult usage is the lowest in a decade. far too many people continue to hughes their lives as -- lose their lives as a result of prescription drugging, but i believe, i'm very on the pissic we're going to begin to reverse this trend. the obama administration has committed to supporting progressive, evidence-based programs that can make a real difference right away. and for the first time, we're supporting and working to expand the use of me lox sewn, a life-saving overdose reversal drug so that first responders are prepared to safely handle individuals who are experiencing these life threatening opioid overdoses, and they help prevent more deaths associated -- this will help to prevent more deaths that are associated with the nation's prince drug abuse -- prescription drug abuse epidemic. in 2010, changing the subject for a minute, in 2010 president obama eliminated mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine.
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we know that the disparity in sentencing, particularly the impact that it had in the african-american community, could be quite devastating. well, this is the first time or that was the first time in 40 years that a mandatory drug sentence had been repealed. and that was done, by the way, in a bipartisan manner. and for the first time ever, we're institutionalizing a public health approach to drug policy through the affordable care act. i think people have another name at times for the affordable care act -- [laughter] but we call it the affordable care act. [laughter] and it's going to make a big difference in this field particularly. it's going to require insurance companies to treat substance use disorders like any other disease. this is revolutionary because the treatment of drug problems has often been isolated or siloed. it needs to be part of our primary health care system. and we estimate that with aca, 62.5 million people are going to receive health insurance
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benefits covering expanded substance abuse and mental health treatment services by 2020. with 32.1 million people gaining those benefits for the first time. we have an estimated 22 million people in need of treatment who currently aren't getting that, and having that availability is going to be important. you may ask why a number of those people don't get the treatment that they need now, and it's often times because of the stigma that's associated around drug abuse. and we're going to talk about that in just a second. so the things that i've just outlined to you all around public health, you notice that almost the first third of this presentation has little to do or almost nothing to do with the criminal justice system or law enforcement. this is what drug policy reform looks like. it looks like a doctor, looks like a nurse, looks like another health care professional. and it looks like local community members who come together to address these
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issues. looks, in fact, kind of like general dean, but it postally looks like the -- mostly looks like the community antidrug commissions of america. we have had the joy and the opportunity to work with general dean and his outstanding staff not only throughout the country, but also in many other cups. because the drug -- countries. because the drug problem doesn't just belong to the united states. well, general dean, i thank you for being here today. he has been the chairman and ceo of cadca which operates on the idea that prevention is the most cost effective way to deal with this. we can reduce drug use among young people. some of you will remember just say no. i won't look at anyone in particular. [laughter] or you remember your brain on drugs. but you know what? that's not effective messaging
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today. and today we know so much more about what works. and what doesn't work. and helping young people make healthy decisions about their futures. well, cadca is practicing true drug policy reform by promoting innovative, evidence-based prevention problems taffe tailored -- that have tailored messages. cadca is proving every day that we can success friday empower young -- successfully empower young people to make healthy decisions about their future. and through the white house and the support of congress, we fund hundreds of coalitions. each of these coalitions leverages federal funds to create tailor-made, local solutions. prevention makes sense. it helps young people grow healthier and smarter and empowering them is a way of the future through prevention. emphasizing prevention over incarceration, that's what drug policy reform looks like today.
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true drug policy reform also involves people speaking up. as an individual in recovery, they want to see that these people are successful and that they have overcome the disease of addiction. and last year i spoke to a group of leaders in the recovery community at the bette ford center. -- betty ford center, one of the country's longest-running and best known treatment facilities. i was inspired by those in long-term recovery who i met, and i asked everyone in recovery to speak out, to share their stories. because by celebrating recovery, we can lift the stigma that, unfortunately, still surrounds addictive disorders. and some leaders in america's recovery community have taken up the important task of speaking out about recovery. and i have been so impressed by their community -- their commitment to raising awareness and lifting the stigma. one of those leaders joins us today, and that's devin fox, the executive director of a growing organization called young people
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in recovery. and devin has shared his story with others, but i want to tell you a little bit about it also. he started using drugs as a freshman in college at 18 and soon his personal binge drinkino meth. today devin is in long-term recovery from drugs and alcohol, and he is giving back to the community -- and particularly the recovery community -- every single day. he graduated with a master's in social work, he's working with new jersey's division of mental health and addiction services as a recovery advocate, and he's demonstrating that people who suffer with substance use disorders deserve a chance to get better. and that americans living with this disease can really reach their maximum potential just like he has. but his story isn't that unique. he's just one of 23 million americans in recovery. and a part of the growing
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movement to lift the stigma associated with this disease. and it's because of people like devin that we've established for the first time ever in our office a recovery branch. that sounds like a huge organization. it's actually two people. [laughter] but they are the two hardest-working people that i have ever seen. [laughter] and for us to actually put emphasis and understand the differences between treatment and recovery, i think, is a good step in the right direction for us. and i want to thank devin for all of the work on behalf of the recovery community and, devin, i want to thank you for joining us here today. thank you. [applause] well, devin's work reminds us that addiction is a disease that does not discriminate by age, doesn't discriminate, by the way, by jenner, race or socioeconomic status. but the more we're able to bring the discussion of addictive disorder into the light of day,
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the more readily we can treat and understand them. many people charged with drug-related crimes are afflicted with an underlying substance use disorder, and many of these people don't need jail time, they need treatment. and they deserve a chance to recover and change lives. and we're seeing this all across the country. and that's why the administration is working to expand innovative programs like drug court andty accelerate nonviolent offenders into treatment instead of prison. and in the drugging court program, drug offenders are provided with treatment services and monitored close lu by a judge who holds them accountable. and there are several judges here that just to that slip diddley. and either it rewards them for staying clean or sanctions them for not holding up their end of the bargain. and by giving nonviolent drug offenders a chance to reclaim tear lyes through -- their lives
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through treatment rather than wasting away in jail, we can begin to break that cycle of drug use, crime and incarceration. and this kind of reform not only saves lives, it saves taxpayer dollars as well, and it reduces the incarceration rates in this cup. so today i am -- in this country. so today i am proud to announce our office is awarding a $1.4 million grant to the national association of drug court professionals. their executive director, wes huden son, is here along with a number of their board members. this is the country's leading drug court organization. it trains drug court professionals who work to divert nonviolent drug offend beers, again, into treatment instead of jail. and already because of the work of nadcp, thousands of nonviolent offenders are diverted into treatment instead of prison through the now more than 2700 -- i have that right, 2700? drug courts in this country. and when several of us worked
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for attorney general janet reno many decades, several decades ago, there was just one drug court in miami with judge goldstein. and so to see the expansion of an evidence-based program that actually works, i think, is truly heartening. we hope this new grant will bring the work, will continue to work and the progress that you all have done, and we're proud to stand with you and proud to be supporters of drug court. and this is also what drug policy reform looks like. well, dr. clark, general dean, devin fox, they represent just some of the innovations of drug policy that are being achieved today. and it's a hit to prevention -- a shift to prevention, to treatment, to recovery services and toward criminal justice reform. it is a shift to science and toward evidence-based programs that strengthen public health and safety. and drug policy reform is not easy, and there is no quick fix
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solution. what i've outlined today doesn't lend itself to a slogan that you'll see on a bumper sticker, and it doesn't make, unfortunately for the journalists, it doesn't make a lot of catchy headlines. but this aroach works. each year we're diverting more than 100,000 people into drug treatment through -- instead of prison because of drug courts. and for the first time in decades, our u.s. prison population is declining. and guess what? our use of drugs in many places and in many types of drugs is also declining. let me give you a couple examples. cocaine use is dropping as are the deaths of overdose from that drug. and the most recent data from 2011 showed that the number of users of methamphetamine is down about 40% since 2006. so when someone says to you we can't really make progress on this, well, we actually can make progress. it's just very difficult sometimes to get that message out there as, certainly, the
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people i've identified here on the dais know. but we're beginning to turn the corner also on the nation's prescription drug abuse epidemic. and increasingly, law enforcement and the public health community are working together. they're getting smarter about how to reduce drug use and its consequences in america. i should note that the strong partnership between law enforcement and the public health community isn't unique now just to drug policy. we also see that partnership in the debate about gun violence. that is why when president obama announced 23 executive actions to reduce gun violence in america, he also included actions to address the role that mental health plays in reducing this challenge. and there are common sense steps supported not only by law enforcement, but there are common sense steps that he has proposed that are also supported by the public health community. let me close by telling you further what drug policy reform looks like from my perspective.
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it's about helping women with substance use disorders get access to prenatal care so that their children get a healthy start in life. it's about showing teenagers that a healthy plan to adulthood so that they can succeed as productive members of society with the skills they need to compete in a 2 19th century -- 21st century workplace are given to them. and it's about giving that person who struggled with addiction an opportunity to go to treatment and receive support in their recovery. and drug policy reform should be rooted in neuroscience, not political science. and that's what a 21st century approach to truck policy looks -- to drug policy looks like. and it's part of the president's broader plan to build an america to last; one where workers are skilled to compete in a global marketplace, with those who need mental health or substance abuse treatment are going to receive it, one where children feel safe because we have done everything in our power to keep weapons off the hands of criminals and the
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mentally ill. well, i thank all of you for coming, and i'm happy to take your questions. [applause] >> thank you very much, director. some have said that the president was silent on the recent legalization referenda during the election because even though the administration's policy is against them, the voters for them were overwhelmingly democrat, and the white house didn't want to lose those votes. true or false? any comment? >> well, i would tell you two things. one is that i think if you look at the election and how much of the effort around the presidential election was around jobs and the economy, then it reverted back to talking about
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the economy and jobs, the president has been on the record quite a bit opposing legalization and the decriminalization of our drug laws. but he is very much on the record of saying that a public health approach would be most effective. so i looked at both candidates, i could not certainly be more supportive of not only the person that i work for, but the support that he has given, given me and given this office in reforming the policies that i talked to you about a minute ago. >> thank you. >> will thanks. >> how old you characterize the pharmaceutical companies' responses to the abuse of prescription narcotics? i know you touched on prescriptions, but we do have a question, wondering if you could expand. >> and there has been some progress by the pharmaceutical industry on this. first of all, as you know from some of the news releases yesterday from the food and drug administration, the
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abuse/deterrent formulas of these very powerful prescription drug oxycontin is not to going to become a generic that can be easily abused. in other words, in order for people to abuse them, they need to either crush them or use them in a syringe, and the fda is not going to allow generics that don't meet that abuse/resistant bomb la. but we've also receive offed some good support in ours with the pharmaceutical industry about the importance of them being more forward leaning on the education part. and that's why the rims that i talked about earlier, the national institute of drug abuse also has on its web site some training courses for professionals in the health care industry. so i think the pharmaceutical industry can do more. frankly, i think they should do more in this area. but we're making some progress.
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>> i have two questions related to your role in the government, and they're almost -- different questions, but very similar. do you feel your role has been reduced? the you are no longer in the cabinet, and your office budget has dropped by over 25%. does this reflect the administration's declining interests in drug control? >> one of the positions the drug czar has held a cabinet-level status, but that's not always been true. in fact, when secretary bennett from education became the first drug czar, it was not considered a cabinet-level position, and i've met with all of the drug czars. and when i met with secretary bennett, he said, hook, as long as -- he said, look, as long as you feel that you have the ability to talk with the people in the administration and have their ear and have their support, he said i've been in the cabinet, it's not all that exciting. [laughter] and our budget, by the way, just
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as with everyone in fiscal hard times, continues to take about the same amount of reduction of many other components. and we just have to figure out smart ways to work through it. >> thank you. why did you only not complain loudly when congress dropped the budget to zero? >> so the youth antidrug media program is the one i mentioned earlier when you talked about this is your brain on drugs and different commercials. and at one time it actually was $190 million. some of the research showed, or it was very difficult to show that those kinds of commercials were actually making a difference in preventing drug use. and so the first week that i assumed office in 2009, congress
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had already zeroed out that budget which was a smaller amount. i went up and asked if congress would reinstate that money and that i would, in fact, revamp the media campaign, which we've been able to do. the media campaign is largely run through social media today which is, of course, not only resonates better with young people, but certainly is far less expensive than some of the costs of other more traditional advertising. both years, last year and this year, the president has asked for money for the media campaign. both years congress has not shown a willingness to do that. kids, frankly, get plenty of pro-drug messages. i think they need a small amount of money to give them a solid, evidence-based, anti-drug message. but we continue to work with private partners also to keep this program alive. it's called above the influence. you can see some of the commercials on our, on our web
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site. don't call me and say i don't get it, because it's actually not for your age. [laughter] >> you know, i actually had not read that, and i've -- i can tell you that the cocaine issue, especially the powder can cocaine was often seen at a higher socioeconomic abuse level. but, frankly, i think the information that has gotten out about the dangers of cocaine and the problems are helping to show the decrease in consumption in this country. but, you know, i'm not so sure that the banking crisis can be atranscripted to cocaine --
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attributed to cocaine. that's his opinion, obviously. >> why isn't there more drug treatment in prisons when two-thirds of arrestees test positive for illegal drugs and experts say it could stop recidivism by less than half? >> we've been strong proponents of treatment behind the walls as it's called, and that's very important. we do a program where we test people that we sponsor the program where people are tested that go into jails that are arrested throughout the country. people arrested for everything from shoplifting to breaking into a house, etc. about 50% of the people that are arrested regardless of the crime have some type of substance abuse problem. so as a police chief, it made a lot of sense to me to figure out that we should be dealing with a
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substance abuse problem. and if we don't when they get out, that recidivism is going to occur. and we're just going to be continuing to recycle people through the system. so we've -- i could not be more proud of the federal bureau of prisons and the leadership in the department of justice for the federal bureau of prisons where they've actually hired and are bringing onboard additional drug treatment professionals. but i've also been very proud of the fact that even some of the most conservative governors in this country have looked at treatment behind the walls and actually taken some of their very tight state budgets, realizing that they need to invest in that. and i think be you look at the work of re-- if you look at the work of reforming criminal justice policy that the pew center has led, i think that's one of the hallmarks. so i think we're making progress. i think we need to be able to do more, and we need to be able to convince people that treatment works. and that's one of of those issues that we need to continue
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to voice. >> please share a comment that any potential impact of sequestration actions on your vision for drug policy reform. >> well, i certainly would tell you that we're very concerned about sequestration when it comes to making the reforms tar needed. first, from my old hat of the law enforcement community, it means that we will have, if furloughs and other types of reductions go through, we would actually have less federal law enforcement agents whether it's in the border patrol or others, there would be less available hours. and i think given the important work that they do in so many ways -- not just stopping drugs coming across the border, but the important issues around human trafficking and
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>> treatment bed that is will make a difference -- belleds that will make a -- belleds that will -- beds that will make a difference. >> the questioner asks why have you personally been silent on drugs bemajor sport -- by major sports figures despite lance armstrong and other high profile cases? >> i think the part about the dope anything sports has been an
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important -- doping in sports has been an important part of the discussion. our office has membership, although we certainly don't control our office as membership and provides dues to two groups, wada being the world anti-doping association and usada being the united states. and, you know, rather than criticize and hold any one individual up, i think that the it's important that we share our membership in that organization with not only doing the work that has to be done to prevent athletes from using those stub dances -- substances, but also supporting the science that goes along with developing the tests that will up cover it so, essentially, as our president often says everybody should play from from a level playing field. >> someone observes that you used the term substance use
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rather than abuse. why is that, and is that a correct observation? >> i didn't notice. [laughter] but, you know, i mean, i think it's important that you also recognize that we speak out quite often on underage alcohol issues. if you talk to presidents of colleges and others, you talk to people whose kids are in college, the alcohol binge drinking, underage use can be quite dangerous and quite concerning. and so looking at these, looking at all of these sub standses and not try -- substances and not trying to silo them but saying prevention and early intervention are key components is important to me. >> i thank everyone, and i'm sure the speaker does, for the growing number of questions -- [laughter] i like how you answer direct and don't go on concern.
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[laughter] >> i haven't learned that enough get. >> yeah. what is the administration doing to address discriminatory barriers facing people in recovery with criminal, with the criminal justice history? >> that's a huge issue, and i actually could go on and on about that one. it's the stigma. it is just -- i don't know anyone in this room, and i don't know anyone that i have met traveling on behalf of the president now for four years that has not been personally impacted by addiction. it's a friend, it's a coworker, it's themselves, it's a neighbor. and it's so important that we remove that stigma. because when i went back and if you remember, i mentioned the 22 million people who could actually use some type of substance use treatment or intervention, many of them don't get treatment because of the stigma, and they feel that they don't have a problem. the more people like devin, the more people that actually speak
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out about their particular problem -- and i would just shout out to faces and voices of recovery -- the more people that talk about this, i think, the more that the problem will kind of come out from behind the shadows. and we want to remove that stigma. i couldn't be more proud of attorney general eric holder and the work that he's doing to help people who are being released from prison sometimes because of a drug offense to get back into mainstream whether it's housing through the work that sean shaun donovan has done or a number of other programs s. so the more we kind of move this from the shadows to the fact that every one of us has been impacted by the, by these problems and know that people can get treatment and can recover and can be ip cred my successful -- incredibly successful with our support and those aftercare services and also recognizing from having met so many people that it's a hard job every day of the week. and my hat's off to them.
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>> there are many nontraditional drug treatment centers out there, those that, obviously, charge fees from addicts and offer yoga, health food and no actual medical care, according to the questioner. does your office deal with these practices or institutions? >> we actually don't. we recommend evidence-based and science-based treatment programs, and if you take, for example, the drug courts across the country and the treatment programs that they refer people to, those have been evaluated, often times rigorously evaluated and continue to be reviewed. so those are the kinds of programs that are important. but i also think it's important to recognize that there's going to be a number of paths to recovery whether it's 12-step programs or abstinence programs or medication-assisted therapy. there can be a number of ways that people can overcome the
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disease of addiction, and we want to be supportive of those. >> are there any programs targeted specifically for the native american community? >> i think anyone that's familiar with our tribal lands and has seen the difficulty issues -- the difficult issues that these sovereign locales, the people in these sovereign locales face regarding substance abuse should recognize that we need to give them a special message. and so, for example, on methamphetamine our deputy director who's here, ben tucker, has done some real outreach to a number of the tribal lands to give a unique message. our old messaging campaign, by the way, we would have kind of one spokesperson. and, you know, frankly, when i was a kid from the bronx, his voice or her voice really didn't resonate well with the tribal land in nebraska or the nation
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in arizona. so what we've really tried to do is to bring the this down to a grassroots level whether it's through the messaging or the media campaign or through the drug-free communities that many of you are familiar with in the 600-plus that we fund with a small amount of money to each of them. so tribal lands need their own message, and we spend a considerable amount of time trying to make sure that we're doing our part with, along with the tribal leadership to make a difference in those locales. >> thank you. when we think of drugs, we think urban. but can you address the scale of drug abuse in rural america, ie, meth? >> you know, we're often asked what's our nation's drug problem, and we often -- and we always say that we don't have a national drug problem, we have a
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series of regional drug problems. methamphetamine in places in the south, certainly where i was in the pacific northwest, the midwest can be a significant problem. but if you talk about every part of this country being impacted by the drug problem, i'll give you the best example. i've spent a number of days now, but i also spent an extended four-day visit to eastern kentucky and also to west virginia. the poorest parts of appalachia. and people who had been severely, significantly impacted by with prescription drugs -- by prescription drugs, people who had lost sons and daughters and brothers and sisters as a result of the overdoses. the most fearful individuals were pharmacists afraid of being held up for those kinds of drugs. that's a human tragedy, and that's a loss of life in a very poor area that didn't get much attention but, for. [applause] nately, a number -- fortunately,
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fox television and others followed us for several days so that we could bring that to attention, so that people recognize our drug problem isn't just an inner city problem or a big city problem, and i think that's important. the other part you should recognize, too, though is this is about jobs and the economy. we met with a number of employers across -- in that area that had jobs, good jobs. living wage jobs with benefits that they could not fill because they could not get people who were testing clean from a drug test. and as you know, many jobs do require drug testing. and i would point you to governor tomlin in west virginia who i'm incredibly impressed with, the work that he's doing. but he has billboards on the side of the road that essentially say get high, don't get hired. and what he was seeing was they put people through career counseling and new job skill training. they would graduate with the job skill, but they wouldn't be able to pass the drug test.
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and now he's doing the testing first, he's making sure that people that need treatment or need help can get it and so that we can fill the jobs that are needed in the future. so you should really, i think it's just such a myth when we think about the drug problem as only being an urban or big city problem. it's really throughout this country. >> what are you doing to reduce drunk driving? >> and drugged driving is something that i knew not a lot about. but i think my first week in office dr. dupont, who is sitting in the front row, called me and said, look, you need to take a hard look at a report that the department of transportation conducted in 2007 but which had not been made public. we did look at the report. i met with secretary lahood. the report became public in 2009, and essentially what it
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shows is that people behind the wheel with substances -- marijuana, prescription drugs, etc. -- are incredibly prevalent on our nation's highways and create a real danger. and you've started to see more and more whether it's celebrity cases that are getting attention or others. so there's some really good programs that can be done. we have formed a partnership with mothers against drunk driving, and if you think about the success not that more can does not have to be done, but be you think about the success in reducing alcohol-impaired driving through technology, through sanctions, through education, through engineering, we can do the same thing about drugged driving. but the most important thing that we had to do first was to bring it to the attention of the public, and i think that's what we've done. thank you, bob. >> we are almost out of time. of but before asking the last question, we have a couple of
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housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all, i'd like to remind you about our upcoming luncheon events. on april 19th, patrick donahoe, postmaster general, usps, will discuss challenges meeting the evolving demands of the nation's postal system. on may 7th, chris evert, tennis legend and publisher, "tennis" magazine. and on june 3rd we will host the annual presentation of the gerald r. ford journalism awards. second, i would, with great feeling -- [laughter] in view of how you've covered your topic and you have generated so many questions, wow. i mean, i ity -- i don't know if we keep track of a record -- i'd like to present you with the traditional npc mug. [applause] the script i have says how about
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a round of applause for your speaker, but i think you did it spontaneously. that's better than me asking. [laughter] for the last question, sir, you know, we began the luncheon today with a reference to the tragedy at the boston marathon, and i'd like to conclude with going outside of your current field, but going to your former field as nearly four decades as a law enforcement officer. wearing that hat without having all the knowledge or facts, what is your outlook for the agencies finding the perpetrators of tragedy? >> yeah, aye -- as many of you, i have an aunt and uncle just outside of boston, many friends and have spent a lot of time in the boston area. and so i know how all of this country feels about what has
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occurred. but i also know those law enforcement professionals. one of the programs we fund is a high-intensity drug trafficking area that is headquartered in the boston and new england area. when i look at the cooperation and the sharing of information and the lack of concern that people have in my old field about turf and knowing many of the people that are involved in this investigation, i feel as the president said that this country will get to the bottom of this, they'll find out who's involved, and they will bring that person or persons to justice. thank you. [applause] >> thank you all for, thank you all for coming today and generating, i think, a very lively news event. and my thanks again to the director.
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i'd also like to thank national press club staff including the journalism institute and broadcast center for organizing today's event. finally, here's a reminder that you can find more information about the national press club on our web site. also if you'd like to get a copy of today's program, please check out our web site at www. www.press.org. thank you, we're adjourned. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> president obama and the first lady will be in boston today to honor the victims of the boston marathon bombing. the first couple will attend the interfaith service at the cathedral of the holy cross. see it live starting at 11 a.m.
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eastern on our companion network, c-span3. attorney general eric holder is on capitol hill today for a hearing on the 2014 justice department budget request. he's also expected to speak about the bombing at the boston marathon. see this hearing live starting at 2 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> the f-35 is the most expensive weapons system in the history of the united states. well, history of mankind, quite frankly. it is a advanced war plane, a fighter jet thats to be used by the air force, the navy and the marine corps. it's the replacement for the f-16 for the air force, for a number of other planes for the marines and navy. it's supposed to be our new, advanced, all-purpose fighter jet. it was a plane that was supposed to be in the skies fighting now. it's still in development. it's an incredibly troubled program.
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it's a program that has gone tens of billions of dollars over budget, and i borrowed into this program as a way to write about the overall challenges of trimming the defense budget. because this program is, in some ways, singular in terms of its cost overruns, its delays, and the way it's been structured to -- as i write in the piece -- its most effective defensive attribute may not be all of its radars and accept sores and -- sensors and missiles and stealth technology and ability to fly at supersonic speeds. it may well be the way it's been designed to evade budget cutters in washington. >> more with "the washington post"'s rajiv command resake ran sunday at 8 on c-span's q&a. >> postmaster general patrick donahoe testified wednesday about the financial issues facing the postal service. he asked lawmakers to drop
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saturday coverage to cut costs. see this and other hearings about funding issues anytime on our web site, c-span.org. >> good morning, mr. chairman, ranking member cummings. and members of the committee, thank you, mr. chairman, for calling this hearing. the postal service is currently operating with a broken business model. since the economic recession of 2008, we have been experiencing a significant imbalance between revenues and costs. this imbalance will only get worse in the coming decade unless laws that govern the postal service are changed. in the past two years, the postal service has recorded $21 billion in losses including a default of $11.1 billion in payments to the treasury. the postal service has exhausted its borrowing authority and continues to contend with dangerously low liquidity. we are losing $25 million a day,
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and we are on an unsustainable path. primarily due to the rise in online bill payment, the use of first class mail has dropped 28% seance the year 2007 which roughly equates to $8 billion in annual revenue that we would have otherwise had today. that's -- that steep decline in our most profitable category is not the cause of our financial problems. our financial problems are due to the fact that we have restrictive law that is prevent us from fully responding to these changes in consumer behavior. any private sector company could quickly adapt to market changes that we've experienced and remain profitable. however, we do not have all the flexibility that we need to grow revenue, reduce costs and adapt in a changing marketplace. there are areas that we can act
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within the law, and we have been very aggressive in these areas. since 2006 we have reduced the size of our work force by nearly 2,000 employees, that's 28% without any layoffs. we've done it in a very careful manner. of we've consolidated more than 300 mail processing facilities. we're in the process of modifying hours in more than 13,000 post offices. we have eliminated 21,000 delivery routes. these actions have bent the cost curve and reduced our annual cost base by $15 billion annually. so this year's cost is $75 billion, it would have been 89 bill had we not taken these actions. we've examined and acted on every reasonable and responsible action to match volume loss with cost reductions. no other organization, public or private, that i am aware of can
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continue to function at a high level. and yet we have to go much farther, much faster, and we are prepared to do so. in february of in this year, the postal service announced it would introduce a new national delivery schedule designed to reduce costs by approximately $2 billion annually. we did so after receiving advice from our legal counsel. we did so because the continuing resolution in existence at that time did not prevent us from taking this mysally-response -- fiscally-responsive action. the law was set to expire on march 27th, and we urged congress not to act to block our new delivery schedule, and it enacted the next continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. however, according to our legal opinions, house resolution 933 to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year included language specifically designed to prevent the postal service from changing its delivery schedule.
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we are now required to deliver mail as if it were the year 1983. >> kentucky senator rand paul says he's disappointed that the president has in some cases used the families of gun victims as props to push gun control. senator paul's comments came wednesday during an interview with the christian science monitor. this is about an hour. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> okay, everybody, here we go. see what iron control. dave from the monitor, thank you for coming. our guest today is senator ran paul. this is -- rand paul. he was born in texas, attended baylor university before being admitted to duke university where he earned his medical green. he has an antitax group called kentucky taxpayers' united, and in 2009 in his first bid for elective office, our guest ran for the senate seat vacated by retiring senator jim bunting. he won decisively in the general. when he got to the senate, he quickly founded the tea party caucus. finally, for you breakfast tea
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party buff, a group of which i may be the only member, of our nearly 3800 breakfasts, only two times have we had both a father and a son as guests. we hosted former representative ron paul in september 2011. the only other father/son team was mitt romney and his dad, michigan governor george romney. so much for biography and breakfast trivia. now on to mechanical manners. as always, we're on the record. please, no live blogging or tweeting, in short, no filing of any kind while the breakfast is underway. there's no embargo when the breakfast is over except that c-span has agreed to the to use video of the session for at least an hour after the breakfast ends to give those of us in the room a chance to file. if you'd like to ask a question, please, do the traditional thing and send me a subtle, nonthreatening signal, and i'll happily call. we'll start off by offering our guest the opportunity to make some opening comments. and with that, senator, thanks again for doing this.
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floor is yours. >> well, thank you. it sounds like with all those rule that is we're going to really create some news this morning. i don't know about that. as i was shocking everybody's hand -- >> be we live in hope, senator. we live in hope. >> as i was going around the room, i was thinking i was sort of in a wedding receiving line, so if anybody feels compelled to send me a gift, i can give you an address. i was told anything short of 13 hours of speaking would be fine, so i'll try to keep my remarks concise. in fact, i think question and answer will probably do us in service better. but i'm glad to be here. i came to washington because i want to make a difference. i think that our nation faces significant problems, and i think if we don't address the deficit, if we don't address it, i've become more and more convinced that we don't necessarily go gradually into problems, that we could go
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precipitously into a problem. and i say that with reference to 2008 and to the crisis. that i think there is even when things seem to be going pretty well, there is and are some lurking dangers within our economy. one would be interest rates rising. and i ask this question all the time to people i consider to be, you know, smart, big bankers, people in the major capital centers of the world, can we control interest rates and keep interest rates low? is there a breaking point at which the central bank cannot keep interest rates at this point? because interest rates at 5%, interest rates of 7% or when i was a kid, interest rates of 19 president or 21%, i think, would be catastrophic with this burden of debt. seems to work right now, but i also think that there's a certain illusion both of wealth in the stock market and an illusion of the ease at which we can manage our debt.
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and so those are my concerns. and i think because of that we have to do some long-range things. i've proposed several things since i've come. i've proposed fixing the social security problem. we're $6.5 trillion short. to me, it's an actuarial problem. raise it to 70, and you fix two-thirds of the social security deficit. you can fix the remaining third by means testing the benefits. i thought that there'd be bipartisan support for that because the president has occasionally said he's for entitlement reform, but he, i think, has not shown much leadership on this. seems to be inching more towards it, but i had a meeting with him back when we used to have 47 republican senators, we sat down around a table like this with he and the vice president. this was probably a year and a half ago. and i told him precisely that, that i think we should be able to get people on pote sides of the equation -- on both sides of
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the equation just to, essentially, fix social security. medicare's a more difficult problem. it's $35-40 billion short, and these are problems that drive your deficit. everybody here knows this. two-thirds of the budget is entitlements. to we have another -- so we have another bill that fixes medicare. it's $35-40 trillion on the whole we do the same thing. we age the -- raise the age grawjally, we means test the benefits, means test the premiums, means test everything, and unfortunately, that doesn't fix the problem. so even with raising the age and means testing, you don't fix the problem in medicare. you do have to have some market forces. so i thought, well, you know, it was john kerry's idea in his presidential election to put everybody in the whole country into the federal employee benefits plan, the federal health insurance plan. so i said this was a democrat idea, in this will be easy. i'll just go to john kerry and
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say let's use your idea not for the whole country, but let's use it for senior citizens. let everybody have the federal employee health plan. i think the public would like it if they're told they're getting the same health plan as their congressman gets. and it's similar to what paul rune talks about, but he doesn't actually do it. in our program we just give everybody on medicare the federal employee health plan. saves a trillion over ten years and does, actually, according to our projections would eradicate the shortfall for medicare. so i guess that i will stop there since i fixed social security and medicare, i don't want to really brag or anything. [laughter] >> thank you for the -- >> now i just need a few votes. if i only had a few votes. but we didn't get any support from democrats on this. in fact, one of the democrats' main complaints -- i tried to talk to some who i thought might discuss the issue. their main complaint was that obamacare got rid of for
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congressmen, we're no longer part of the federal employee health plan, and there's a question whether or not it has to go into some kind of exchange like obama kay. so they said we couldn't do it because we're getting rid of the one part of government that actually kind of works which is the federal employee health plans. but anyway, i'll stop there, and i'll be happy to answer questions. >> this is a larger than usual turnout and one reason, obviously, is that you're seen as a potential presidential contender for 2016. what's the current state of your thinking on that possibility? >> you know, i want to be part of the national debate, so whether i run or not, being considered is something that allows me to have, i think, a larger microphone. we've, we will continue to travel to the early primary states. i'll be in iowa, i'll be in new hampshire this spring, i think i'll also be in south carolina in the summertime. so, um, we're considering it. you know, we won't make a decision before 2014. >> the last one from me, and then we'll go to stephanie kay.
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i won't attempt the last name because i'll just be embarrassed, sam youngman and i think mark shields is waving his hand at me. be not -- >> just one though. >> in your view, do the bombings in boston have any policy implications either on gun control or immigration? >> you know, i think it's largely a mistake to talk about issues in this, in the wake of crisis, in the wake of tragedy. you know, the one thing that's disappointed me about -- i think gun control's a legitimate issue for our country to debate and decide where and how we can fix the problems of violence. but i really hate to see it. i'm a parent, and i have three boys, and i hate to see it in using people, i think, as props and politicizing people's tragedy. i mean, when i see the father and the mothers and them testifying, and i know they're coming voluntarily, and they want to come and be part of this debate, but it still saddens me
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just to see them. i think that, um, in some cases the president has used them as props and that disappoints me. and the way i'd look at it, i do look at it a little bit in the sense of the tragedy, how could we have prevented the tragedy, and that's real estate -- really why i come down on the side of not being supportive. >> senator, what's your position on the prison in began tan poe? [inaudible] -- guantanamo? >> you know, i have not voted for any of the limitations on sending -- there have been several amendments on sending people to guantanamo bay or not sending them there, and i have not voted on any of the limitations on that. i don't know that there is -- that i have a great answer, to tell you the truth. there is a part of me that really does believe that you even captured internationally, you ought to be accused of a
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crime, you know, and that people held indefinitely, i objected strongly to sending americans there. and it surprises me that there are members of the u.s. senate that would send americans to guantanamo bay without charge, without trial indefinitely. it disappoints me that the president, who when he was a senator appeared to be a little bit more of a civil libertarian, has said, well, i'm going to sign ip definite detention, but he said the same thing on drones, i don't intend to use them. that's not strong enough language. he should have vetoed and never signed the ndaa because we should not have on the books the power for any president to send americans to guantanamo bay without a trial or accusation. so for americans i have really strong feeling. for others it is difficult knowing what to do, and i think there's sort of a spectrum. i think americans -- anybody accused of a crime in america get cans due process without -- gets due process without question, without exception, and i think it's an absolute.
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if you're overseas and you're captured in a battlefield and you're shooting at us, i think you get no due process, probably zero due process if you're firing a weapon at us or involved in a battle. then there's sort of a murky in between of those who we think are committing maybe battle during the daytime and now are sleeping in their house at night. so what do you do when you capture those people, where do you take them in you bring them to the u.s., do you have to have due process? there are a lot of questions, but i haven't come down on the position of closing guantanamo bay. >> sam? >> senator, i'd like to go back to the commonwealth, if i could. after your primary most of the calls i was getting telling me how terrible you were were republicans from kentucky. there was a rift between you and the senator that you could --
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[inaudible] i guess my question is how much are you -- how hard are you going to work for him to get reelected? >> i've endorsed him. i've raised money for him. and, you know, i will work, try to see him reelected. i think he's good for kentucky. >> how do you view him? is he a mentor? is he somebody you're learning from? or is he somebody you're not quite on the same page with? >> you know, thoreau is a mentor, you know? i think -- [laughter] when we call people a men to have, i think that overstates -- mentor. i mean, we're colleagues, and i do respect him. he's been here a long time, he has a lot of knowledge of the senate, and we work together on a lot of things. we were just down in kentucky working on freedom to fish, keeping the federal government out of our fishing rights next to the dam. so we interact on a lot of things. and really, to tell you the truth, i think what i would say about senator mcconnell is i
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don't think he ever personally disliked me, you know? people work against each oh in campaigns, and particularly people who have been involved in politics if or a long time -- for a long time don't take it personally. so the one thing he did which was a very, i think, significant thing for me and for the party was he called us all up flee months before -- three months before the primary and said i want you to sign a promise to come to a unity rally three days before the election. we didn't bicker, it wasn't the establishment against the upstart. everybody showed up. all the republican congressmen, both my opponents showed up, and it was a good thing. but it was a smart thing -- >> [inaudible] >> no, i think he actually didn't know at that point. the polls had really shifted. of this was a month or two before, and we were actually doing pretty well in the poll at that point. ..
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>> probably grover cleveland. >> he's quick. we have lots of rules here. so i have to answer his question. i can't answer the question of want to answer? in my lifetime, a democrat, so, i guess kennedy was president
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while i was like six months old i think. he was shot in, 63, summer or fall. november, yes. i'm six months old so it would be from kennedy on forward. not an lbj fan definitely. i think he was sort of a creature of something that out of washington and there's a lot of things i think are bad to come out of washington. you know, even though he is from texas, you know, just wasn't too happy with lbj. then you've got jimmy carter who i think is the best ex-president we've ever had. i will put him in that category and a lot of people have said that. you have clinton. you know, i think the only one, you know, some conservatives point to and i might as well would be, you know, that people point to kennedy reducing taxes have actually growing the economy as well as reducing unemployment, as well as, you know, increasing i think
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reverend actually increased even though he cut rates. so i would probably say kennedy. i think kennedy also captured the american imagination somewhat. i think falsely sometimes though because the media gave him a pass. nowadays i don't think that would happen. on either side. but i guess i would say kennedy among the once since i've been living. >> senator, you spoke at the university last week. how do you think your message was received there? do you plan on doing any more outreach like that? if so, what would you do differently? >> about three days late i spoke to simmons college which is historically a black college in louisville. i thought my reception at howard was much better than the left wing media. so if you're here from the left wing media, i didn't appreciate your recession. by howard i think was very fair. i had never met kurt schmoke before but i've always been a
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fan of kurt schmoke. i told that i could remember back and probably when he was mayor, reason magazine writing about him and about him trying to decriminalize and lessen penalties for non-violent crime which have always been a supporter of. and so i enjoyed meeting kurt schmoke. we have a -- i'm working with leahy. we may try to see the we'll come back and testify if he likes the bill. said i think the reception was good. i think people, i'll give you an example of how sometimes reporting is not accurate. one young man stood up and said i work for a pro-obama super pac registering voters. somebody in immediate described him as someone who is just from a generic voter registration group who said he worked for the president. i mean, that's a difficult vote for me to get. it's a difficult person even to get entrée into them considering republican. so it wasn't an easy audience. but i thought it was a
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meaningful conversation at the other thing i would say is that, things that annoy me is people want to just, i was completely blasted by some one on the left wing fo for being out of touch d knowing nothing about the southern strategy and that's why african-americans became democrats, which is flat out wrong. look at the facts. in a huge way, and statistics are not great in 2 20 but they y huber, so takeover may have gotten two-thirds of the african-american vote and some say buy most of the statistics and 30 to say roosevelt got two-thirds of the vote. it changed and huge way in 1932. southside of chicago was republican, had a republican congressman. he was elected 26, 20, 30 and 32. he loses and 34, becomes a democrat in 1934. so for people to tell me that has the reason republicans ahead of the african-american community's because of the southern strategy, it may have cemented a change but the change did happen during the great depression. i think it's wrong of us and the change happened and i said this
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in my speech, most people ignored it, the change happened amounts whites and blacks. a lot of people switch the registrations in the 1930s. roosevelt won overwhelming victories but the one thing he did is the african-american vote change in 1932, it increased in 1936, when truman endorses civil rights in 1948, the dixiecrat break off the boat becomes overwhelmingly african-american vote for truman. he also integrated the armed services. say get to the 1964 civil rights act and give 90% of the people of african-americans voting for lbj. the southern strategy by most reports is after that, not before that. so it is solidified but it didn't cause the change. people who write that are just factually wrong but they do itself a thing for partisan purposes because our republic is not allowed to go and be a part of the debate and talk about it. it had to do i think, everybody
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can have an opinion, had to do with a lot of things but i mean had to do with economic, the lack of economic emancipation among african-americans. they wanted more and they didn't feel like they're getting it from republicans. >> in terms of doing it again and doing it more? >> i plan on doing yes again, and more. i've done one already since then at simmons college, you know we will continue to do that. i think, but anybody who thinks it's going to be easy and that all of a sudden we will switch. although i'm to the one thing that is encouraging from history is the amazing switch from 28 to 32. it to be a republican that could switch the vote like 28 to 32, all of a sudden things would be topsy-turvy. but i would say the change ohio from 5% african-american voting's republican to 10%, all of a sudden ohio comes into play. >> we are going to go next

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